Barry Bonds probably had his baseball career, and legacy saved today by one man. In the Game of Shadows Bonds is said to have been angry that he wasn’t getting the attention that he thought he deserved, during Mark McGwire’s record breaking 1998 season. Bonds then was said to have started using everything he could get his hands on. In a way you could understand why he did it; he was a lot better player than McGwire, and Sammy Sosa for that matter.
Today Roger Clemens was identified in former Senator George Mitchell’s report on steroids in baseball. Clemens was said (in the information that’s been given out) to have acquired steroids and or Human Growth Hormone starting with his time with the Toronto Blue Jays, and continued during his employment with the New York Yankees. Now I’m going to go two ways here so stay with me. First off, and this is just hypothetically speaking, If Clemens started taking roids with the Blue Jays, then it opens obvious reasons for his use. His career was in jeopardy and the Boston Red Sox knew he was done. But what the Red Sox front office didn’t know at that time was what the use of steroids could do for a player (they found out later though, uhhmm, Bill Mueller, career was done, only to win a batting title and a world series, and fell apart the next year). Clemens came back to only save his career with the Jay’s, and get his revenge against the Red Sox.
Now let’s say Clemens career wasn’t saved by steroids, and that he was just adjusting to the times. He was considered one of the best pitchers in baseball, why did he feel like he needed to take them? Could both him and Bonds have wanted to seperate themselves from everyone else so badly that they were willing to take anything? If the best pitcher and the best batter of that time are on steroids, are they really that good? Their performances demand discussion on whether they’re the best player to ever do what they do, yet little to none of their colleagues stand in defiance of the feats they’ve accomplished. That tells me that maybe 80% of the players during the last 10 years have been on some form of performance enhancing drugs. I say that because only 7 percent of the anonymous players tested in 2003 tested positive.
Am I supposed to believe that all the players just stood by as a small percentage of guys, two that are considered the best hitter and pitcher in that era, just dominate without any intervening? Between 1996 and 2002, 5 out of the 7 American League MVP’s have had direct connections to steroids use. Between 1996 and 2004, 6 out of the 9 National League MVP awards have been given to someone with a connection to performance enhancers. I’m supposed to believe that 93% of your league isn’t on steroids, and just stood by as awards were handed out to only the tainted guys. That’s why I think Bonds and Clemens weren’t alone; not even close. They’re still the best two players of their era, and maybe their numbers need to be lowered a little to give you an idea of what they would’ve actually earned, but Clemens still dominated opposing batters that were on the same stuff he was on, and Bonds destroyed pitchers on the were on the same stuff he was taking.